architecture - engineering - construction

Three Economical Tips for DIY Exotic Hardwood Deck Cleaning

  Subscribe to FREE newsletter  Sep 29, 2008

East Teak Fine Hardwoods, Inc. and Woodrich Brand® have come together to offer a few quick tips for do-it-yourself owners on how to properly and inexpensively clean and restore exotic hardwood decks.

Refresh Your Backyard Decks with East Teak and Woodrich Brand®

It was that time for barbeques, backyard parties and family outdoor fun – summertime has been in full swing! Yet along with the many joys of the season, also comes the cleaning and upkeep required to get your backyard, including the deck, ready for those social occasions.

With outdoor spaces becoming extra rooms in the household, homeowners are increasingly choosing exotic hardwood decks for their beauty and durability. Even long-lasting hardwoods such as teak, ipe, Garapa Gold®, massaranduba, mahogany, and purple heart among others, will need to have yearly maintenance performed on them.

East Teak Fine Hardwoods, Inc. (, the industry leader in First European Quality teak and other fine hardwood products, and Woodrich Brand® (, one of the industry's best recommended hardwood cleaning and staining products, have come together to offer a few quick tips for do-it-yourself owners on how to properly and inexpensively clean and restore exotic hardwood decks.

Quick Tip #1: Use A Deck Cleaner Specifically Formulated for Hardwoods
While it is true the restoration process can be labor intensive, what makes it more difficult is using the substandard products available at most home centers. Proper surface preparation is key to successful wood restoration. Deck cleaning should be performed as a two-step process with cleaning agents specially formulated for hardwoods. For the first step, East Teak recommends EFC-38 Wood Deck and Siding Cleaner/Stripper, designed to remove aged and failing oil-based wood finishes. For application instructions, read the manufacture's directions and follow them to the letter! Once the deck has been cleaned, a mild brightener should then be used to prepare the wood for staining. East Teak recommends Woodrich Citralic Brightener/Neutralizer, which is considered to be safer and more effective than oxalic acid.

Quick Tip #2: Rinse Off with A Pressure Washer at Low Pressure Setting
Many times a hose and nozzle will work during rinsing, but if you need to use a pressure washer to remove any excess dirt or debris, do so at a low PSI. A low pressure nozzle such as 850 PSI should suffice, but it is not recommended that you go over 1500 PSI, as you may raise and damage the grain fibers. Use a sweeping motion and try to keep the sprayer the same distance to the deck so you do not leave lap marks. After the surface of the deck has air-dried by direct sunlight for three to four days, it is then safe to use a quality stain and sealer.

Quick Tip #3: Stain and Seal Your Deck Annually for Proper Maintenance
Again, it is important that you use a stain and sealer product specifically formulated for hardwoods. Ultra-violet (UV) rays from the sun are the enemy of wood, and pro-longed UV exposure causes wood to turn gray over time. So think of your stain/sealer as "sun screen" and use a product that is both high in pigment (SPF) and resin solids to ensure that you will get the maximum protection. East Teak recommends Woodrich Brand's Hardwood Wiping Stain®, which can be found at the local paint or hardware store, or online. After your deck has been cleaned and rinsed, apply one coat of Hardwood Wiping Stain per manufacturer's instructions. Brush in excess product, let dry, and you will have a beautifully restored deck to enjoy.

"Cleaning and maintenance are both crucial parts of keeping your outside deck looking as beautiful as the day it was built," says George Guy, Vice President of East Teak and the company's chief decking consultant. "The economical approach is a simple, do-it-yourself method that we strongly encourage owners to do at least once a year."

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